Priori Legal Pairs Data and the Web to Connect Lawyers with Small Biz
Searching for an attorney might not be fun. But many businesses, even tiny ones with tight budgets, wind up needing their services.
A pair of Yale law school grads says their online marketplace, Priorilegal.com, makes it easier for small businesses to find lawyers who are willing to work on the cheap, matching attorneys to the needs of prospective clients.
The site wants to be more than just a listing service; it asks folks what legal issues they require help with and then presents a selection of lawyers curated from the network. The attorneys found on New York-based Priori Legal offer rates at least 25 percent below market price.
Basha Rubin, the company’s CEO, says she and co-founder Mirra Levitt saw a problem with the way some small businesses manage their legal services. Solo practitioners and attorneys at small firms, Rubin says, were willing to work at discount prices, yet had difficulty connecting with small business owners.
“We saw people not seeking legal advice or trying to go it alone,” she says.
Further, some small businesses owners went in the opposite direction, Rubin says, hiring lawyers from high-priced, bill-by-the-hour firms—even with other options available. The attorneys on Priori come from the middle market, she says, which is hungry for clients.
Levitt says Priori benefits lawyers as well as the clients they hope to find. Though attorneys may have a grasp the legal world, marketing themselves might be outside their wheelhouse. That is where Priori thinks it can change things up. “There are an increasingly large number of high quality attorneys who are opting to practice either as solos or in boutique law firms,” Levitt says.
Though the legal field has been a bit slow to adopt some new technology, Levitt believes lawyers will embrace Priori. “We’re not pushing them to do things that they wouldn’t otherwise do,” she says.
The design for Priori evolved in part from learning what small legal firms and solo lawyers need help with. “That drove the architecture of the platform we built,” Rubin says.
Currently, the site only offers attorneys who can provide services in the state of New York, though Levitt says Priori will expand in January and February to more of the East Coast.
Rubin and Levitt graduated law school in 2010, founded Priori in 2012, and launched the site this past September. Priori is backed by friends and family funding, Rubin says. The co-founders demonstrated the service at the December New York Tech Meetup.
The interview process used to choose attorneys for the network helps eliminate some of the guesswork for people looking to hire lawyers, Rubin says. She also says Priori gives clients a better idea of how different attorney fees stack up.
“The goal is to bring transparency to a traditionally opaque market,” Rubin says. “Somebody good be getting the best deal in the world with a lawyer and they would have no idea.”